Lenovo honing smart home

By Hezi Jiang in Las Vegas | China Daily USA | Updated: 2017-01-06 12:16
Lenovo honing smart home

Lenovo has returned to this year's Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas with new laptops and a fresh new category.

After a few years of struggle amid the global slowdown of PC sales, the world's biggest PC maker has bet its future on smartphone and cloud connectivity - with an eye on smart homes - for next phase of its potential growth.

"We now have a clear and comprehensive strategy," said chairman and CEO Yang Yuanqing at a media conference on Wednesday.

He said the company now has three main goals. The first is to maintain its leadership in the PC market by innovation.

During the CES, Lenovo released its new ThinkPad X1 family that targets the need for slimmer computers for customers who blur the line between work and personal PC use. It also launched a new brand of gaming PC called "Legion".

Lenovo's second goal is to finally cash in on its efforts in smartphones and cloud connectivity.

The company has been trying to revitalize the Motorola smartphone business it bought for $2.8 billion in 2014.

"We expect to start making a profit in smartphones this year," said Yang.

Lenovo launched a line of ultra-thin Motorola phones, Moto Z, last July with Moto Mods - accessories that can be attached to the back of the smartphone to expand functionality.

On Wednesday, it unveiled more apps for the Phab 2 Pro, Lenovo's Augmented Reality (AR) smartphone powered by Google's Tango technology. New apps highlight AR and virtual reality games.

"We see that in the future, every device will be smart, and all devices will be connected," said Yang, and that vision leads to Lenovo's third goal and the new category - smart homes.

"We are heading toward a company of device plus cloud, powered by artificial intelligence," said Rui Yong, who joined the company from Microsoft as Lenovo's new chief technology officer in November.

The company introduced a smart speaker that recognizes voice commands to conduct web searches and play music, and a home cloud storage system.

"Smart home is a hot category but it's still at an early phase," said Yang. "We are launching the products to enter the field, and it may become our next engine in a few years."

"Lenovo has gone though many challenges and changes since the slowdown of PC. The transition hasn't been easy, but we are honing for our next rise," he said.


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